The Bucs haven't challenged for any championships since the Belvidere School District was split into two high schools. Leonard hopes to see the Bucs contend at least for conference championships again.
"It's my job to get the most out of each player on our team and as a coaching sdtaff if we can get the players to perform to the best of their capabilities I have no doubt that we'll be able to year in and year out compete at the top of the (NIC-10) conference." Leonard made those remarks Friday when he was introduced to the media during a press conference.
Leonard was an assistant coach last season at Lutheran. Before that he was an assistant for many years at Christian Life under his father head coach Chuck Leonard.
Leonard is following in a long line of respected coaches at Belvidere. "This position I hold in very high regard and that goes to the fact that it was held by some pretty good coaches and more so that they were better men," says Leonard. "It'll be a privilege to be in a position that was held by Mike Hearn, LaVern Pottinger and Doug Chapman. To stand in their shoes is something that means a lot."
When Leonard played at Belvidere under Pottinger the Bucs were a straight wishbone team. Leonard says we're not likely to see that now. But he wants the current Bucs to share the values of those championship Bucs squads.
"The wishbone wasn't Belvidere football, winning was Belvidere football," says Leonard. "And doing things the right way. Hard work, dedication, discipline...that will continue."
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